(Paddy Jolley, Reynold Reynolds, 2002, 10 min)
Burn plays out in a different room of a house. Its occupants are engaged in banal activities – one man dozes in an easy chair, another brushes his teeth, a couple has a heated discussion in a bedroom.
While this is going on, flames begin to flicker around the entire house, eventually threatening to engulf it and its inhabitants. But no one seems to notice the fire. Completely unwary, as if paralyzed, the
actors carry on with their absurd activities, incapable of reacting, incapable of resisting their fate. Meanwhile, the inferno spreads with nail-biting slowness. The more the inhabitants’ actions drift into
obvious ambiguity, the harder it becomes to discern which of the two realities is “real,” whereupon an unsettling feeling of schizophrenia sets in. Burn is rich in symbolism and offers up a chain of
associations from domestic drama to the apocalypse. The absurd, helpless isolation and denial of the protagonists, imprisoned in their own world, nevertheless soon becomes more unsettling than the towering inferno that rages around them. -excerpted from the catalog for the 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Massimiliano Gioni and Ali Subotnick.
Exhibition copy of Burn courtesy of the Irish Film Archive. Special thanks to the Patrick Jolley Estate.
This film is not in competition.
16mm on Video